A sermon I heard on Fathers’ day about the roles of a father got me thinking about the roles of a husband. In a society where there is so much emphasis on gender roles and exertion of gender identity, the sermon I heard was an eye opener in a different direction, and it set my train of thoughts in motion regarding the role of a husband.
The bible verse (Ephesians 5:22) “Wives submit to your husbands” is probably the most preached verse in marriage counseling. Most of the time, the true depth of this verse is masked by the cultural norms and standards society aims to project on women. This might explain why there are so many articles on the internet teaching women “five things not to do” or “fifteen simple ways to keep your man happy”, but there are hardly any posts teaching men to be the right husbands worth submitting to. The understanding of the verse (Ephesians 5:25) “Husbands love your wives” is limited to a man choosing to marry a woman, and confessing his vows on the wedding day. That verse however ends with “as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for it”… now this is where the problem begins.
Although society seems to support feminism, there is a lot of emphasis on men to exert their masculinity as husbands; and this they believe can be achieved by submission of the woman, or should I rather say dominance of the man. I believe this is where we all get it wrong- thinking submission is a woman’s role, and dominance is that of a man. Christ gave himself up for the church; Christ submitted himself as a servant leader to the Church. Christ gave up his royal status and all his riches to sacrifice himself for the Church. Christ submitted for the sake of the church, and this I believe is the role of husbands that is not preached in counseling sessions, and the thousands of articles that flood the internet teaching women how to modify themselves to suit the ever-changing needs of their husbands. Submission is not a woman’s role. It is a married couple’s role- they ought to submit to each other in love and respect.
The role of a husband is often limited to provision and protection. He has to be the breadwinner and protect his wife from daggers thrown at her. Nowadays, women are able to provide for themselves and some can protect themselves with all the energy they can muster; does that mean the role of the husband has been rendered redundant? NO!
A husband should not be a dictator, nor should he be a master who must be served at all costs. A husband should not leave certain duties to his wife simply because he feels it is her duty to fulfill them. The only duty a woman is obligated to perform is give birth to children because her anatomy dictates it. The rest is up for grabs; I suspect women prefer to cook their meals to avoid death by diarrhea, which is a possibility when some men cook *wicked grin*. A husband is meant to be a teacher, a mentor, a partner, a friend, and a leader. A leader leads by example and by serving; no true leader derives joy from having his team mates run helter-skelter to please him while he sits back to watch the latest soccer match between rival clubs. A leader does not regard his wife as his subordinate; he sees her as a team mate, and sees his children as his trainees. Like Jesus washed the feet of his disciples (John 13:5), a husband should be ready to serve his family.
A true husband should not seek to control or exert his gender identity as a man; many young men sadly believe that their role as husbands constitutes seeking a woman whom they can trample over and control. They mistake timidity for respect, hence fail to be able to relate with women who refuse to be suppressed. This is a basic wrong that needs to be corrected in many young men of the 21st century.
Be a true leader and your wife will be the best team mate you could ever wish for! Give her advice instead of criticism; put yourself in her shoes more often and try to lighten her burden as often as you can. The essence of her existence is not to care to your every whim, and as a husband, you should not be looking to truncate her dreams simply because they are bigger than yours. There’s a reason you’re called the BRIDE-GROOM- a person whose duty is to groom and look after the bride for life. That’s not only achieved by throwing money at her, but also by being her cheerleader and acknowledging her successes.
We need to start teaching men the roles of a husband beyond provision and protection- balance the grid if we want relationships of the 21st century to survive.
Share your thoughts! XOXO